As the registration for the UTMB® hit a new record in 2019, the issue of finding the ideal compromise between accommodating the participants and protecting the Chamonix valley becomes essential.
The organizers of the UTMB® have recently presented their transport plan for the 17th edition of the UTMB®.
The numbers for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2019® are: almost 10,000 runners and 20,000 accompanying people and volunteers. Thus, it will be a great challenge for the UTMB® organizers to enable the participants to move throughout the valley in the most fluid and ecological way possible.
The new transport policy was described as being "in perfect harmony with the Chamonix Valley" by Lionel Canon, the communication director of the event.
The goal of the transport plan is to avoid congesting the Chamonix valley during the races, as well as reducing the overall carbon footprint in the valley and in the mountains during those seven days.
The main way of accomplishing this goal is to find alternative solutions to cars. Ideally, this should be achieved from the runners' descent from their planes, not only during their stay in Chamonix.
"We encourage carpooling, shuttles, buses. For next year, we are thinking about introducing a reduction in race registration fees for those who do not take their car", declared Isabelle Juchat, technical director and course at the UTMB®, for Le Dauphine.
As last year, a device was set up all around the Mont Blanc massif thanks to a technical partnership with Mont-Blanc Transdev bus for France, ATS for Italy and TMR for Switzerland. "Without Transdev's expertise, we would not be able to put this in place", admits the director of communication.
"We have put in place a new device to continue releasing Chamonix Center on Friday, which is the biggest day", says Isabelle Juchat. All cars coming up from Le Fayet will be able to stop at Les Houches-Le Lac where the football field will serve as parking. From there, participants will be able to take the bus.
Moreover, for the first time, the Mont-Blanc tramway will be free of charge on Friday evening between Le Fayet and Saint-Gervais for the spectators' access to the first refuelling of the race.
Access to Contamines will be provided by a shuttle, just like last year, and the road will be closed to visitors.
Lastly, Lionel Canon says that "[ ] we have a public of sportsmen. A bit of walking should not discourage them."
You can check the schedule for the Chamonix buses here and for the trains here.
Learn more about car-pooling in the Chamonix valley and the Mont-Blanc tunnel.
You can book a shared airport transport ride on www.transferfix.com.